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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...

May

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Adam Johnson plays the music of John Cage @ the Lit & Phil - Sept. 30

(© Ken Drew)
Adam Johnson (prepared piano)

I guess most people have heard of John Cage, but relatively few have heard his music, and even fewer seen and heard a live performance of his work.  Such a performance was held at the Lit & Phil as part of the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music. After an enthusiastic introduction, James Smith, revealed that one of his goals in life was to see a live performance of Cage’s music for prepared piano.


The first piece titled 4'33 (in three movements) lasted exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds and was greeted with much applause and a little mirth for the player staring unwaveringly at the blank music in front of him. A perfect rendition, although Johnson himself did quip that maybe anyone in the audience could actually perform it.


(© Ken Drew)
Moving on to a significantly major piece,  Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, was for me a stunning revelation of a scored piece played on a prepared piano, rather than improvised. Written in New York between 1946-48 (some 20+ years before the availability of synthesisers) to create a percussion ensemble for a dance group. The piano preparation takes around 2 hours, and follows meticulous instructions and measurements as to where the items of rubber, felt, screws and bolts are to be placed.  Their absolute position is determined by ear to ensure the tonalities are ‘in tune’ across the prepared range, producing a similar sound to a Gamelan orchestra. 


(© Ken Drew)
And so the main piece, Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (selection), which lasted some 45 minutes, was performed as meticulously as the preparation. Johnson is an accomplished musician, and read the complex-looking score perfectly. For the first few minutes the appearance of gamelan drums emerging from the upper keyboard register (and some from lower down) seemed startling but quickly the sounds settled as intended – an orchestral piece with polyphony in its sonic ranges and in its rhythms too.  Overall this was absolutely thrilling to see and hear this work performed.  Bravo! to Johnson, and to the organisers for bringing him to Newcastle to perform.

After the performance Johnson invited interested members of the audience to look at (but not to touch!)  the modifications within and across the piano strings, and to ask any questions.  There were many! Ken Drew

 

This concert was presented by Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music in association with Jazz at the Literary and Philosophical Society and Jazz North East. 

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